Dr. Mueller is the Principal Economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago Energy Resources Center where he leads the Bioenergy and Sustainable Landscapes Research group. Research activities focus on life cycle emissions analyses of fuel pathways including greenhouse gas emissions assessments from land use change related to biofuels production, quantification of carbon emissions and sequestration effects from production agriculture, and tailpipe emissions assessments from biofuels combustion. Recently, Dr. Mueller has been serving as a technical expert to the US Grains Council on the sustainability of US produced biofuels for export markets and presented his research in Japan, Korea, China, and Mexico.

Dr. Mueller has published over 20 peer reviewed papers on life cycle analysis with a wide network of collaborators including Argonne National Laboratory, the US Department of Energy, Purdue University and North Carolina State University. Steffen served on the Expert Working Group for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard development in 2010 and he presented his biofuels research results to the White House Council of Economic Advisors in 2014. He is a current Board Member of International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (Europe’s largest certifier of biofuels). Steffen holds a PhD in Energy Policy, a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. 

Iris Caldwell, P.E., is a Research Engineer at the Energy Resources Center (ERC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She facilitates the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group and other efforts to engage industries in pollinator habitat conservation. She also provides technical assistance in the development of greenhouse gas offset projects and protocols, evaluation of renewable fuel production technologies, and mobile combustion emissions modeling.

Prior to joining the ERC, Ms. Caldwell worked for more than eight years in industry, both as a manufacturing facility environmental engineer and as an environmental consultant. She has a strong background in environmental regulatory compliance as well as greenhouse gas accounting, carbon offset verification, renewable fuel production under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard, and other environmental and sustainability reporting.

Iris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil – Environmental Engineering from Iowa State University. She is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Illinois.

Large Network of Collaborators



CENTURY Soil Carbon Work

U of I Champaign, Argonne

2008 & 2012 Ethanol Plant Surveys

RFA, Industry (80 EthanolPlants)

Available Lands Work


University of Chicago LandUse Model Development

University of Chicago, Argonne, IowaState

Baseline Time Accounting


Yield-Price Elasticity

NC State, IA Corn Growers Focus Group

GHG Emissions from Enzymeand Yeast Production

Argonne, Corn to Ethanol ResearchCenter

Sustainable Stover Removal Paper

Purdue University, LifeCycle Associates

Sustainable Stover Removal SELC CARB Pathway

SiouxlandEthanol, Houston Biofuels

LUC in Vicinity of Ethanol Plant Studies

UIC, Institutefor Technology Development, Industry

CopenhaverRemote Sensing Uncertainty Analysis for RFS2


GHG Impact of Future Corn Ethanol work for ICMB

Ross KorvesPro Exporter Network, Life Cycle Associates

Combustion Emissions Work

O’Shea Environmental Associates

Bioproducts, Ethyl Lactate & ZeinProduction

Industry, Life Cycle Associates

ISCC Remote Sensing Studies/Board Position

International Sustainability and Carbon Certification

EU Biodiesel Work

Don O’Connor, Air Improvement Resources

Program Contact

Steffen Mueller, PhD.
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Program Contact (Sustainable Landscapes)

Iris Caldwell, P.E.